The Nighttime Personalities of Every Los Angeles Neighborhood, Ranked

First impressions are everything. As a newly-minted 21-year-old, I've made it my mission to explore all the nightlife that Los Angeles has to offer. And like any millennial adult, I have formulated my opinions on each sub-sect of L.A. While there are great places to go out in L.A., here are some of my favorites so far, as well as some places that I most likely won't be returning to.

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6. Santa Monica

People who go out in Santa Monica are the adult versions of the popular kids in high school. The ones who had everything together, wore the trendy clothes, had the trendy hairstyles, but were ultimately the most shallow and boring of the student body. From the Instagram-obsessed models to the "bro-grammers" of Silicon Beach, the partygoers in Santa Monica tend to bore, TBH. The people-watching is dismal (everyone dresses the same), while the DJs are trying to persuade the crowd to like their mixes, and the overall vibe is superficial. After an hour, you'll want to get out of there to have actual fun.

Places of Note:

  1. 31TEN LoungeIf you want to stand in a crowded room with people flexing about their social media influence, go here. I have witnessed a man throw $1 bills at a table all by himself, enjoying his bottle service with a weird grin on his face. The decor is modern, beach-y and actually very sharp, but it ultimately doesn't distract from the poser crowd.

  2. Circle BarIf you want to be pushed by a gaggle of drunk people while having entire beverages spilled on you, come here on a Saturday night. The drinks are strong and the music isn't bad, but being shoulder to shoulder with people who are soaked with sweat just isn't an awesome time.

5. West Hollywood

A night out in Hollywood involves a lot of dark rooms with purple lighting, good music, and walking down Santa Monica Boulevard around three in the morning. Everything in Hollywood is extra and done to the max, but a night out in La La Land could be the best decision you ever make. The crowds that frequent WeHo don't live a slow life—they want to dance and laugh all night, while looking their absolute best.

Places of Note:

  1. Nightingale PlazaThe people are beautiful, the music is great, and the dance floor is huge. Nightingale is perfect for a night out with friends or an SO. The sexy atmosphere has people posing all over the flower print walls and in front of the modern light fixtures above them. Truth be told, this is where I spent my 21st, and while Nightingale is definitely made for an Insta-savvy crowd, this is one of the most fun dance floors in L.A. 

  2. Flaming SaddlesNot for the faint of heart, Flaming Saddles is a gay bar and club that makes no apologies. With male and female strippers dancing all night to classic Britney hits, this venue is for those who plan to sing and dance their hearts out all night, and walk home with new best friends that you met in the bathroom for the first time that night.

4. Beverly Hills

Among the glitzy and glamorous bars and restaurants in Beverly Hills are the rich, obtuse people who frequent them. The pristine decor, along with unsaid but understood dress codes, gives Beverly Hills nightlife an air of exclusivity. But that illusion gradually fades. Many of the popular bars are inside iconic hotels attracting rich tourists who obsess over the status they (falsely) think they acquired while sipping $20 cocktails underneath a chandelier.

Places of Note:

  1. Bar Nineteen12—Inside the famous Beverly Hills Hotel is a bar with leather chairs and candlelit tables, where you can find Sugar Daddies, Eurotrash, and young trust fund kids spending their parents' money quietly. It will not get "lit" here, but the overrated bougie atmosphere is thick in the air and is sure to intoxicates.

3. Silver Lake

Silver Lake is home to old, deadbeat rockstars and young punks who want to live the same raggedy aesthetic, all while ignoring the fact that their salary merely allows them to live in a studio apartment in Los Angeles. Most of the places here are dives that offer live music. The old school way is preserved in these taverns, and people who love Silver Lake love old school.

Places of Note:

  1. The Thirsty CrowKnown for the whiskey-based cocktail menu, the Thirsty Crow is a favorite among the locals of Silver Lake, and is full of hipsters and 80s music. With a mix of millennials and baby boomers, the people watching is better than decent.

  2. Hyperion TavernNot known for their assortment of liquor (they only serve beer and wine), Hyperion Tavern is instead known for hosting live music. Whether it's alt-rock or psychedelic tunes, the people here are serious about music. The tavern is hidden with no sign outside, and they have zero social media presence, which might be a testament to how the people here feel about outsiders.

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2. Mar Vista

Although it might not be the first area that comes to mind when weekend plans are being made, Mar Vista is quickly becoming a contender in the L.A. nightlife scene. An eclectic crowd parties out here, most likely because they know they're safe to be themselves in a relatively underground area. Like Silver Lake, Mar vista skews retro. Time will tell if and when the hipsters will ever fully infiltrate, turning historic bars into trendy lounges with succulents and house music.

Places of Note:

  1. Lost & FoundA dive bar decorated with office supplies? Sounds pretty quirky, but the drinks are cheap and the stereo plays classic oldies, and outsiders as well as protective locals (again, no social media, they don't want us to find them!) love it here.

1. Downtown

Downtown is probably the only neighborhood where you can find all of these people (mentioned above) and then some. The partiers you'll find on a Friday night out Downtown L.A. range from down-to-earth to street-style aficionados to regular people who just got out of their office jobs at 6 p.m. Bottom line, everyone Downtown is trying to get drunk, have fun, and enjoy the weekend with their fellow Angelenos.

Places of Note:

  1. EightyTwo - This is an arcade bar…that's right, you can get hammered and play Pac Man here. But it's just one example of the quirky bars you'll find in the Art District. It might not be too fancy inside, but the combination of alcohol and nostalgia is the perfect recipe for a night out.

  2. Onyx LoungeThe red velvet booths, leather couches, and trendy Mason jarred drinks attracts a classy, younger crowd who still get down. This place is also connected to Gamez DTLA, a total dive with sports on the TV and a beer pong table. You can walk from lounge to bar as fast as your mood changes. (Hot Tip: The drinks are better at Onyx, but playing beer pong with friends and strangers is one of my favorite Downtown memories).